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Alex Ovechkin: 'Canada deserved to win'

Practice just wrapped up here at KCI, and afterward, Alex Ovechkin spoke to reporters about his Olympic experience, the disappointment of coming home without a medal and his now-infamous camera-shoving incident in Vancouver.

A bleary-eyed Ovechkin arrived in Arlington around 9 a.m. after participating the closing ceremonies on the other side of the continent late last night. He said he flew from Vancouver to Seattle to Chicago to Reagan National Airport.

"I sleep on the plane all the time," he said, smiling.

"I use all of my emotion and all of my power [in the Olympics]" he added. "But I still have lots of time to recover and get ready [to play for the Caps.]"

Coach Bruce Boudreau said the Caps' captain didn't have to practice today.

"It's a testament to him and his leadership that he's even out here," Boudreau said. "I don't think anyone would have been surprised if he would have needed today off. He flew all night [after] being at the closing ceremonies. We didn't ask him, he just took it upon himself that he had to be here."

More Alex:

*On Russia's 7-3 loss to Canada in the quarterfinals: "I think every game against Canada is special for everybody. Obviously we lost and we lost pretty badly. I don't know what happened that moment. You could see how they move, how they play. And we didn't play at all. It was a pretty bad situation for us and our country, in that moment. But, still, life goes on."

*On Canada beating the USA in OT: "I watched only overtime. I think Canada deserved to win. They play better. I think both teams have good chances, but I think in overtime Canada feel more fresher and have more opportunities to score goals."

*On Sidney Crosby scoring the winner: "I think at that moment, it doesn't matter who is going to score goal. If it was Crosby, Iginla, Staal or someone else. It was a big moment, an emotional moment for them."

*On the incident in which Ovechkin appears to push someone who is attempted to film him as he walked into the Russia House.

"I don't want to talk about it," he said. "It happened. I feel sorry, but it was an emotional moment for me. I don't want to say something bad or do something bad, but this happened. Let's forget about it and move forward."

Here's the video:

GM George McPhee also spoke to reporters today. He didn't tip his hand (surprise, surprise) as to what he may or may not be planning to do prior to Wednesday's 3 p.m. trade deadline, but I will share his comments with you guys later today.

One comment I want to share now, though, was McPhee's shot at some of the coaching in the tournament. He didn't name names (not that he needed to) but he was not impressed with much of it.

"I was surprised that there were only a couple of teams that were really well coached in the tournament -- the two teams that got to the gold medal game," he said. "I was surprised by the some of the coaching for the other teams -- it wasn't very good."

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 1, 2010; 12:54 PM ET
 
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Next: Q&A with George McPhee

Comments

Welcome home Ovie. You're a Champ all the way.
Go Caps!

Posted by: ridgely1 | March 1, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Having left the Olympics without a medal, I'm ready to watch him plow through people to bring us the Cup.

Posted by: stwasm | March 1, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Interesting comment from McPhee. But, the Games were played in an NHL rink, in an NHL rink and with (mostly) NHL rules.

It was an NHL game basically. Two coaches, both from NHL, did well. The other ten coaches, all from Europe, apparently did not do so well. The teams with all NHL players - met for the Gold. Other teams, no.

It might be somewhat different in 2014 with (I'm assuming) the larger rink and Euro officials (did anyone else assume Canadian gold as soon as it was announced McCreary was ref?).

One thing I really liked about the Olympics, the one major rule difference, was the automatic icing. I'm hoping this gets adopted by the NHL. Had it been changed earlier, Pat Peake would be just about wrapping up a decent career as a second line winger.

Posted by: tominfl1 | March 1, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

So GMGM threw the father of one of his draft choices under the bus....

Posted by: RichC3 | March 1, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

I fault the Russian's woes on coaching. For some reason they came out against Canada without any physical presence. In other games they were hitting every chance. Who's decision was that? Why was the goalie not taken out earlier, after he was obviously shaken up?

Posted by: ralph4100 | March 1, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

As a Caps fan and season ticket holder might I suggest to "our" Captain that before he make comments regarding who deserved to win the gold medal game, perhaps he should have watched the whole game. Also, might i dare suggest that he and his Russian team colleagues be thankful they didn't have to play Team USA. I predict the outcome would have been similar to the buttkicking that Team Canada put on Team Russia. Team Russia looked fairly pedestrian. I haven't seen anyone broach the topic yet, but I think the outcome for Team Ruusia should offer some insight to hockey fans as to the level of competion within the NHL and KHL, respectively.

Posted by: doughless | March 1, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

There were a number of well-coached teams at the Olympics: the Swiss, Slovaks and Finland, in addition to the US and Canada.

Posted by: MReilly9 | March 1, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

There is only one piece of metal that really matters and it isn't a medal.

Posted by: bagasome1 | March 1, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

"I think the outcome for Team Russia should offer some insight to hockey fans as to the level of competition within the NHL and KHL, respectively."
Posted by: doughless | March 1, 2010 1:39 PM

That is why you aren't likely to ever see a tournament between the NHL and KHL. The Russians don't want the embarrassment.

Posted by: Wiley_One1 | March 1, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Crosby vs. Ovechkin?

Better goal scorer? Ovechkin.
Better hockey player? Crosby.

Ovechkin is probably as good as any goal scorer I've ever seen in my 36 years of being a hockey fan. He's sick. But, he only plays on 1 side of the ice.

Crosby leads the NHL in faceoffs won.
Crosby kills penalties.
Crosby backchecks.
Crosby blocks shots.
Crosby looks for his teammates to score.
Crosby doesn't skate around at center ice waiting for his teammates to feed him the puck for a breakaway or empty netter.

ANY team would love to have either of those guys. They are both great at what they do. I just think Crosby has more facets to his game. And that's not a knock on AO.

Posted by: SteeltownScourge | March 1, 2010 11:12 AM

Steeltown, you are wrong on almost all those points. Sure, Crosby leads the NHL in faceoffs won - because he has taken the most. I will give him credit, he is much better on faceoffs this year than previously. But how does that factor into a comparison with Ovechkin, who is a winger?

Penalty killer? He averages 37 seconds of penalty kill a game.

He backchecks - but so does Ovechkin.

He looks for his teammates to score - as does Ovechkin, which is why Ovie is 11 assists ahead of Crosby.

As for the last - neither does Ovechkin, while you are implying that he does. He stays near the blue line because his job is to guard the defensemen.

Ovechkin brings much more to the game. He is the best goal scorer in the NHL, a much better hitter than Crosby, has the most explosive burst of speed in the NHL, and is one of the best puckhandlers in the NHL. You Pens fans must not be watching Ovie this season, because he is making great defensive plays. And even last year, he had more takeaways than Crosby. Crosby is great - among the best in the NHL. But he's not as good as Ovie.

Posted by: timmyv38 | March 1, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

guess with Auld gone, turco is "off the block"?

nothing on Niedermeyer?

I like Jackman, don't like any defense in Florida, except Vokoun...(i know he is a goalie).

The only great thing about Ballard is he can solve our goalie "issue" by taking one of them out... lol...

Posted by: SoaringCaps | March 1, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

I dont care if Ryan Malone was on team U.S.A. I will boo him until my voice is lost on Thursday night...

Posted by: SA-Town | March 1, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

tominfl1, I have to disagree with you about no-touch icing. I think it is a horrible rule. I understand that it is used for player safety, but it takes so much out of the game. Even if an offensive player was 3 feet from the puck with no defensive player around when it crossed the goal line, it would still be icing - and that hurts the pace of the game.

And the Olympics were not played with NHL rules, or even a version of them - it was standard IIHF rules. They are similar to the NHL rules, but it's what the European players are used to, and the NHL players aren't.

Posted by: timmyv38 | March 1, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

@MReily9

I think GMGM's comments were more meant for the Russian coach and the Czehc coach. Both were criticized during the tournament for not coaching well.

Posted by: sgm3 | March 1, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Only one trade so far today...

Posted by: MReilly9 | March 1, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Props to Ovie for showing up for this morning's practice. That shows why he's the captain. Let's hope the boys find their stride again, play hungry, and take us to the Cup.

Posted by: cbs75 | March 1, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

tominfl1:
The NHL likes to use the AHL as a "testing track" for rule changes. We had no-touch icing in the A a few years ago and for whatever reason they did away with it and dropped it from consideration for the NHL. Having watched it that way for a season, I can't say it made that much of a difference in the game.

Posted by: tess2201 | March 1, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

"Crosby vs. Ovechkin?

Better goal scorer? Ovechkin.
Better hockey player? Crosby.

Ovechkin is probably as good as any goal scorer I've ever seen in my 36 years of being a hockey fan. He's sick. But, he only plays on 1 side of the ice.

Crosby leads the NHL in faceoffs won.
Crosby kills penalties.
Crosby backchecks.
Crosby blocks shots.
Crosby looks for his teammates to score.
Crosby doesn't skate around at center ice waiting for his teammates to feed him the puck for a breakaway or empty netter.

ANY team would love to have either of those guys. They are both great at what they do. I just think Crosby has more facets to his game. And that's not a knock on AO."


Anyone writing this hasn't seen Ovechkin play more than five minutes of hockey since 2007. How does a player so utterly incompetent in, or unable to find his way to the defensive end of the ice put together a plus-43 at this point of the season. And Ovechkin, last time I looked, had more assists than did Crosby.

As for blocking shots, I would expect a center to have more than a winger. Nicklas Backstrom, to name one center, has more blocked shots (45) than Crosby (33). He also has more assists (50 to 36), a better plus-minus (+32 to +9), fewer giveaways (37 to 61), more takeaways (38 to 33), and does it on less average time on ice. I'm not making a case that Backstrom is a better center than Crosby (I don't think he is), but it is the more relevant comparison.

Posted by: fjc33 | March 1, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

It is funny Ovie hates to pass.

Oh yea he has 11 more assists than Crosby and has played in 7 less games.

Ovie will never live anything down until he wins The Stanley Cup, thats a fact. He could have 100 assists 100 goals and sPITT fans will still trash Ovie if he doesnt win the cup.

Posted by: Redskins2Win | March 1, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

riley cote waived by the flyers

Posted by: _stevo | March 1, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

who cares? Bring home the Stanley Caps!!!

Posted by: cbmuzik | March 1, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Oh heck Pens fans will trash him no matter what. Who cares what Canadian media or Pittsburgh fans care anyway. I say consider the source.

Ovi and his teammates will just have to win the Cup for themselves and for this town. It does take a team after all. An individual can't win it himself--even a goalie tho' one might steal a game or two.

Props to the Captain for coming to practice. I watched the closing ceremony (pretty hokey but in a fun way) and was delighted to see Ovi included with fellow Russian Olympians in the Sochi section of the event.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | March 1, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Why not just forget trying to get any positives from the hockey establishment?

The Caps are the NHL's version of the 1970's Oakland Raiders.

The Caps are Russians, Swedes, Czechs with a few Americans and Canadians thrown in.

Do you really think Washington is ever going to get any credit when balanced against teams that have Canadian darlings like Crosby, Heatley, Toews, etc?

Canadians preached during the Olympics that they are such an accepting and hospitable people.

BS.

They are just as clannish and ethnocentric as anyone else in the world.

The Canadian press pummeled the US after all the USA 'rah-rah' at the Salt Lake City Games.

Well, what happened in Vancouver?

The same thing except this time in red and white, instead of red/white/blue.

Canadian crowds cheered their own athletes and dogged teams in the various tournaments that had beaten their Canadian counterparts.

Posted by: leopard09 | March 1, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

"As a Caps fan and season ticket holder might I suggest to "our" Captain that before he make comments regarding who deserved to win the gold medal game, perhaps he should have watched the whole game"

---

Ummm...Canada did deserve to win. They pretty much outplayed us the whole game, certainly in OT. Let's be realistic here, for most of the Olympics it was Ryan Miller v. The world.

In the end, Canada beat Miller for the Gold.

Posted by: VTDuffman | March 1, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

I think that all that Ted is saying is don't expect a blockbuster trade. That does not mean that there will not be a trade. That does not even mean that there won't be a blockbuster, only that one does not currently appear likely. I support the notion of building for the long run and not mortgaging the future. But I think Tarik reporting that Ted is out at Kettler may be an indication that something of some significance is at least a good possibility.

Posted by: zmega | March 1, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

I'm a Cap fan through and through. (Tickets to games since 1987... it's been a brutal 23 years.) I have three points (and not one of them is pleasant to write):

1) I don't hate Crosby. I hate fans of his like Steeltown who use Crosby's accomplishments as some sort of statement about their self-worth. As for Crosby, WHEN he plays, he is the best in the world now. Why? because his teams win. Individually, Ovechkin is better but hockey is a team sport and until Ovechkin wins something other than individual awards, we Cap fans have to deal with that fact.

2) The Caps, until they win something other than division titles and, perhaps, the Presidents Trophy this year, will be considered the Redskins plus -- win when it doesn't count, don't show up when it counts.

3) Until the Caps win something, it's all on Ovechkin's shoulders for their not winning. He's the Captain and face of the franchise. If the team wins, it's because of the team around him; if the team bombs in the playoffs, it's because of him. That's how being a leader and captain works. So, until this team wins, Ovechkin is just a great individual player.

Posted by: Matt23185 | March 1, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

I've been rolling this around in my head for weeks and let's get to nuts...

If you were a GMGM, you had the first pick, and Ovi and Crosby were on the board, which do you go with? Seriously.

I don't like Crosby for one reason - he plays for the Pens; basically, that's it.

A straight comparison doesn't really work with them since centers have much more responsibility than wingers in differing parts of the ice. Things like playing both ends - goalline to goalline - affect numbers.

If you're starting a team from scratch you're sort looking at great point guard or a high scoring, dominating power forward when comparing these two. I sat through the whole series here in D.C. last year - as did loads of you - and the truth of the matter is, that on paper or in the clubhouse, these two stars are nearly inseperable. I hate Crosby and the Pens uni but respect the player. The dude is great.

With that, I'd take AO8 but that's a pretty subjective choice.

That's all.

P.S. As if anything other than Crosby scoring the winner yesterday was going to happen. Seemed like I saw it a mile away.

Posted by: saintex | March 1, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

I'd be shocked if the Caps didn't trade for a Top 4 defenseman after how poorly they played on D the last 5 games before the Olympic break. After Poti and Schultz, the Capitals simply aren't very strong in their own end. A steady, savvy veteran defenseman who has Cup experience like Niedermayer is a must if the Caps want to get out of the second round.

No, the Caps don't want to mortgage their future, but they are only one strong veteran defensive defenseman from getting to the conference finals. The Caps aren't going to simply outscore teams like Buffalo and New Jeresey in the playoffs. Along with Pittsburgh, those are the teams we are most likely to have to beat to get to the finals. A move or two to upgrade the defense is what is needed.

Posted by: wizfan89 | March 1, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

I'm a Cap fan through and through. (Tickets to games since 1987... it's been a brutal 23 years.) I have three points (and not one of them is pleasant to write):

1) I don't hate Crosby. I hate fans of his like Steeltown who use Crosby's accomplishments as some sort of statement about their self-worth. As for Crosby, WHEN he plays, he is the best in the world now. Why? because his teams win. Individually, Ovechkin is better but hockey is a team sport and until Ovechkin wins something other than individual awards, we Cap fans have to deal with that fact.

2) The Caps, until they win something other than division titles and, perhaps, the Presidents Trophy this year, will be considered the Redskins plus -- win when it doesn't count, don't show up when it counts.

3) Until the Caps win something, it's all on Ovechkin's shoulders for their not winning. He's the Captain and face of the franchise. If the team wins, it's because of the team around him; if the team bombs in the playoffs, it's because of him. That's how being a leader and captain works. So, until this team wins, Ovechkin is just a great individual player.

Posted by: Matt23185 | March 1, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

One of the most sensible things I've read on this board...Now thats a Caps fan

Posted by: ys343 | March 1, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Great, Wilbon is going off on a tirade on Ovi's camera incident when someone asked him a question about it. Do you think the guy could get some facts straight before he starts asking for Ovi to be suspended:

"Michael Wilbon: did you ever see Michael Jordan push a person's camera in her face. Don't suggest, because you'll clearly do anything to excuse Ovechkin and anything he doesn, that other great athletes shove cameras out of people's hands. The reports from Vancouver are that the woman suffered bruises. You show me when Jordan or Tiger did that. It's also interesting to me, and you might be included in this though you might not, that white athletes are never held to the same standard of behavior as black athletes. Had Carmelo Anthony or LeBron James done this is would be painted as "those thug basketball players." Where's the intolerance over Ovechkin's behavior? Where are the columns screaming for him being discipllined? What kind of garbage is that? There is video of it, too. What, is it okay for a white player to shove a fan with a camera? Don't make up garbage and attribute it to a player like Jordan, who was never involved with shoving anybody. Ovechkin, according to other players in the NHL, deals out cheap shots. His own coach, if you remember the stories and stop making up accusations about others, said his star was being out of control. I'll take his word for it, though there will be plenty like you, I'm afraid, who'll try to brush this off as nothing, instead of wondering whether the Capitals star needs to be reigned in..."

Posted by: dfe1 | March 1, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad that Ovi is home and all the Caps are on the ice. Time for the team to reset and refocus.

I thought Ovi was getting hammered by the media, especially by the Canadians. I'm not really sure if anything he did would have been well received.

Since I saw a fair number of video interviews and some print ones such as with the NHL, the problem seemed to be more that he didn't spend an hour or more getting interviewed in the general reporter melee at the rink. Hence several of them got their panties in a twist about it. Personally I thought it was much ado about nothing.

I don't know enough about Olympic PR to know how the Russian hockey team should have handled it but I definitely thought they could have used the Caps PR guy, Nate, for a much more effective touch.

I also have the feeling from what I've read (although I haven't really done much online research to verify my hunch) that Ovi is getting his share of blame for the failure of the Russian team. He is the face of that team as well as of the Caps so I understand why (get the glory, also get the blame), but I can only imagine how hard that would be for him, getting pummeled by both the Canadian and Russian media. Blech!

Watching the Russian quarterfinal was painful. I agree with the general consensus that they were badly coached. I kept yelling at the TV set for Ovi to just come home to Gabby's coaching--Gabby who knows how to use his gifts. Time for a little homestyle coaching--a few of Gabby's suicide drills anyone.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | March 1, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Agreed strongly about the coaching! Especially Bykov. It seemed to me that the players simply lost faith (with good reason) and that once that happened, there were no emotional reserves. (Canada played poorly in Turin, so no hockey power is immune.)

One thing both #8 and #87 (and #28 Russia, and #88 USA) should find common cause in, is to not like how the game was set up to be played in this tournament. It was all about a snarling, hard-work-in-the-corners kind of game that reduces the role of speed and skill greatly. It was muck in the corners, throw it in from the point, and crash the crease, intense but not much for the average sports fan (who doesn't like pitbull fights) to look at. For me, the hockey equivalent of watching a football game that was all running plays up the middle.

Posted by: RedLitYogi | March 1, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Anyone who even thinks to argue which is the better player just doesn't understand hockey. Ovechkin is an every shift player. He makes a difference every shift. Crosby is invisible almost as much as he is visible. He can be taken out of a game. Ovechkin leads a team while Crosby needs a team to do well.

Posted by: Mike4169 | March 1, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Seriously though, watching Canada win last night was like what it would have been like watching The Hawks win at the end of "The Mighty Ducks."

Posted by: VTDuffman | March 1, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

I was rooting for Team Canada last night.

But, I also rooted for Apollo Creed in "Rocky," that's just how I roll.

Posted by: VTDuffman | March 1, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Crosby is much better in front of the net than Ovie, but as a center, I guess he ought to be. He's better in the shootout, too, which is odd, because his breakaways don't make me nervous. Everything after that is perception. Pens fan versus Caps fan. I find it interesting that he doesn't finish so high in polls of current NHL players. This Pittsburgh blog post is a year old:
http://community.post-gazette.com/blogs/bobsmizik/archive/2009/05/21/nhl-players-call-crosby-8th-best.aspx
And this year old poll from ESPN also points out that current players still perceive him as the whiniest.
http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/news/story?page=0809playersurvey
With so many Canadians in the league, his approval rating will go up this year, depending on whether the poll was conducted before or after the Olympics. :-) Otherwise, maybe he's listened to the critics and grown up a little.
When Ovechkin gets shut down by the opposing defense, the analysts all talk about the impact it is having on the team; when Crosby is called a "non-factor"--if such a thing is possible--I just don't hear the same talk about how the rest of the team is affected by it.

Posted by: hockeyweasel | March 1, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

In no way, shape, or form am I ripping on AO. He's an unbelievable hockey player.

But, the best winger Crosby has had in his entire 5 year career has been 38 year old Bill Guerin. If he had linemates, like AO has with Backstrom and Knuble, he'd lead the league in points every year.

He put the puck on Iginla's tape, in great scoring position, no less than 15 times in the Olympics. Iggy scored 5 goals, but could've had 10.

And please don't talk to me about AO's assists. 75% of his assists come from rebounds off of his INCREDIBLE shot totals. And there are a lot of NHL players that could score 50-60 goals/year if they took the amount of shots AO does. Just take a look at his shooting percentage.

I know I'm biased. But, you guys probably are a little too.

Posted by: SteeltownScourge | March 1, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Oops, I really meant to post that The Hockey News rumor roundup is reporting that Columbus newspaper blogs say Jurcina's name is getting mentioned in their trade rumors.

Posted by: hockeyweasel | March 1, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

gotta disagree that Team Canada outplayed Team USA for entire game. Ceratily wasn't the world v. Ryan Miller. don't let your biases cloud what happend in the Olympic tournament.

Posted by: doughless | March 1, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

"gotta disagree that Team Canada outplayed Team USA for entire game. Ceratily wasn't the world v. Ryan Miller. don't let your biases cloud what happend in the Olympic tournament."

---

Definitely the first period they did, and without a doubt in OT they did. How long was the puck in Canada's zone in OT? A total of 30 seconds?

I'd advise you to heed your own advice and not be swayed by biases, here. I respect what they did, but this tournament was the Ryan Miller show. I don't know that we make it past Suisse if not for Miller.

Posted by: VTDuffman | March 1, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Doesn't Wilbon praise Ray Lewis? Ray Lewis is a great football player but I am pretty sure he conducted some off the field actions a little worse than pushing a camera.

And bringing up the race card was a horrible thing to do. It had nothing to do with race, Ovie pushed a camera not the person. There is a big difference between pushing an inanimate object and pushing a person.

Also, where is the so called report that she was bruised? I have the feeling it didn't come from a very credible source since it never made it into the story anywhere.

Posted by: sgm3 | March 1, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

"But, the best winger Crosby has had in his entire 5 year career has been 38 year old Bill Guerin. If he had linemates, like AO has with Backstrom and Knuble, he'd lead the league in points every year."

---

...and if OV had the Defensemen that Crosby has backing him up, he'd have a cup by now.

What's your point?

Other than, "Hockey is a team sport, and a lot of factors go into various measures of success as a result, but in the end I'm biased towards the star player of the team I root for?"

Because we all can agree with you on *that*.

Posted by: VTDuffman | March 1, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

@SteeltownScourge

Your argument makes no sense. If more players would score more if they shot like Ovie then why don't they do it. Isn't scoring more goals good? If what you say is true, then those hockey players and/or coaches must be idiots for not knowing to shoot more.

Shooting percentage means 0 in hockey. It is not an alternate possession game like basketball. What would you rather have in a game, a player who shoots 10 times and scores three times or a player who shoots 3 times and scores once? The guy who scored once has a higher percentage, but less goals.

And it is true that some of Ovie's assists are from rebounds but who cares how he creates goals as long as he creates them. If in a game Ovie shoots 10 times and he scores twice and gets two assists when teammates score on rebounds created from his shot that just means Ovie created four goals in a game. Isn't that the purpose of offense, to score goals?

Posted by: sgm3 | March 1, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

@dfe1

Whoa--too much! Need to stay objective here.

I haven't heard Wilbon's rant yet but you are also guilty of ranting and making counter accusations that may be just as false.

We simply don't have enough facts. We only have gossip. By youtube and parties with differing agendas.

Other accounts differ from the one so-called "bruises" one. I have also read that the person doing the videotaping said that he didn't touch her. So who do we believe--a Canadian blogger Fraser calling for his head who is reporting unverified gossip or the secondhand account of the person doing the videotaping who said that accusations of bruising was false.

Since both are just unverifiable by me, I watched the video. No physical contact that I could see. Just with the camera itself. So what about afterwards. Well the only other account that I read said that the the person continued to tape them as they walked down the hall after the incident. But that section of the tape wasn't included in the youtube version.

So now we have opposing accounts. Which is true? We don't know. But we do have a responsibility to question everything that we read--to use our critical judgement--and not rush to judgement.

And remember Fraser = Wilbon. They are looking for a reaction. Not much objectivity by either of them. Consider the source and let the story die.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | March 1, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

and without Luongo, where would Team Canada have been?? we see what happens with Brodeur in net. look at stats leaders. don't see Canada domniation there, either.

Canadians are second only to Russia when it comes to their smugness about their domination of hockey.

Posted by: doughless | March 1, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

I love the CAPS, have loved them for many, many years.
Fair or not Fair, Crosby has a CUP, and now a GOLD, until our OV can get one, he is behind. I know it is a team game, but.....
Any way, like all of you, I was like anyone but Cindy!!!!

Team Canada did not outplay USA the entire game, first period Yes, Second Period on and off, but after those near misses and goal posts, USA carried the play part of 3rd period.

Come on Caps, win the Eastern Conference, and along the way take out the Pens...

Posted by: hunter32 | March 1, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

I feel the overwhelming needs to comment on what Wilbon said today.

First of all, the way OV handled that incident was stupid, no argument.

However, Wilbon claimed she had bruises. I need to see Wilbon's proof of this. You don't claim a star athelete bruised up a woman without proof. Solid proof. A statement like that is the kind of thing you should lose your job over.

IF it's true, I promise you I'll be in front of KCI with a torch and a pitchfork first thing tommorow. But for the time being, I'm headed to the Washinton Post headquarters. These are serious allegations that could crush a fan base. Wilbon deserves punishment.

Posted by: wingmancd | March 1, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Reposted from last thread:

I like Seidenburg and was hoping the Caps would have signed him this season as a free agent. He's very strong on his skates and is a pretty good defensive player, keeps it simple along the boards. Takes out the player, clears the puck. I don't see the Caps pursuing him because they weren't interested in getting him for free as a FA after he came off a pretty strong season last yr.

Posted by: cstanton1

The Caps had a very limited budget last summer and had to choose which direction to go first. In order to get Seidenburg they would have had to pass on Knuble. IMO a Knuble like player was a greater need than a Seidenburg type player. I don't remember the exact numbers, but I don't believe that passing on BMO would have provided enough cap space for Seidenburg instead. Like you and many others, I would also like to see a crease clearer that can also play solid D. The D doesn't have to be a monster ala Pronger or Phanouef, as I am not overly enthralled with monster hits in open ice at the expense of good solid positional D.

Posted by: realoldcapsfan | March 1, 2010 2:57 PM

Posted by: realoldcapsfan | March 1, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Vinny for Flash, Poti and some other prospect. Cap won't let it happen but talk about a solid 2nd line center.

What about Forsberg?

Posted by: flee001 | March 1, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

please, enough with the Forsberg crap.

Posted by: doughless | March 1, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

riley cote waived by the flyers

Posted by: _stevo | March 1, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

looks like they're clearing cap/roster space for a move

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 1, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Vinny for Flash, Poti and some other prospect. Cap won't let it happen but talk about a solid 2nd line center.


Posted by: flee001 | March 1, 2010 3:28 PM |

lol? Lets keep it somewhat plausible.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 1, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

@SteeltownScourge

Haven't you noticed that Crosby's personal SOG's are MUCH higher this year. Both he and our Backstrom have decided to shoot the puck more this year rather than pass it.

Also it's clear that you don't watch much Caps hockey, especially the Ovi, Backstrom, Knuble first line. The reason for Ovi's improved assists has as much to do with his choosing to pass rather than just shoot the puck. It's not just rebounds picked up by Knuble or others. During the streak Ovi made a number of beautiful passes to both Knuble and Backstrom. Goalies are looking at him expecting him to shoot the puck so he passes instead. You might say there is a reason that Backstrom and Knuble are getting more goals this year.

And I don't feel sorry for the Pens winger issues. Yeah the Caps have more depth on the wing but the Pens are mighty strong down the center with Malkin and J. Staal, stronger than the Caps.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | March 1, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

The best part of the Olympics was Semin laying the lumber to Dan Boyle. I expect to see Semin emerge now as a physically dominating power forward, a la Brendan Shanahan.

Posted by: ccCapsfan | March 1, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

@Capsyoungguns Where am I ranting? I just wanted Wilbon to get the facts first before asking Ovi to be suspended. Everything below the first paragraph is what Wilbon said, not what I said. Please point out where I,m ranting.

Posted by: dfe1 | March 1, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

@hockeyweasel - You raise the right points. The problem so many of have with Cindy is not really his fault - it's the constant forcing him down our throats as being the best. He is very good, clearly among the top players. He is a very good passer (not the best, but among them), but his greatest skill IMO is his ability with the puck when near the goal. If he is unchecked near the goal, you can pretty much ring it up. This explains his success in shoot-outs. Now it is fair to ask how he manages to get open right on the doorstep so often, and that is part of his skill. It would seem to me that you can give him space on the outside and check him closely when he moves in. Yesterday, he seemed to lull Rafalski (who otherwise had a great tournament) to sleep along the boards, then left him in the dust.

Posted by: zmega | March 1, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

@Capsyoungguns--I get the feeling you think that whole paragraph is my rant. It's not. It's all Wilbon.

Posted by: dfe1 | March 1, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

The comparison of players such as OV vs Crosby is like a putrid smell that does not go away. Get a life people. They are both great players, and hockey is a team game.

Posted by: nimes1 | March 1, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

@dfe1

I'm sorry that I thought you were making the accusations. I absolutely agree with you.

I missed that your were quoting Wilbon. Wow--strong and terrible words by Wilbon. I hated what Fraser wrote. But geez where is Wilbon going with this--after a certain gun incident in the Wizards locker room no less.

Wilbon really needs to let this story die. I can at least understand that Fraser is a biased Canadian caught up in the heat of the Olympic moment however misguided (he is the one who passed on the bruising rumor after admitting he didn't have the facts). But is Wilbon trying to make the Redskins and Wizards popular again.

Shame on him.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | March 1, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Again dfe1 I'm sorry. I misread your post--the quoted part made me see red--but Wilbon red.

Let me just cut and past my post and send it directly to that idiot Wilbon.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | March 1, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

@ Zmega - right on, Cindy is good around the net, solid, scored few against the caps in the playoffs last year. His one goal during first game against USA was near the goal line also.

Posted by: hunter32 | March 1, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

no xcuse for Crosby scoring so many goals that close to our net last yr. If you can't clear Sidney Crosby from the crease, that's not an indictment of one's "ability" as much as it is one's "willingness."

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 1, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

if you had to break it down into how the Caps can improve defensively, adding one defenseman to the team is probably pretty far down the list of possible improvements. First, the coach has to stress team defense and not just pay lip service to it just because we happened to lose a particular game. 2nd, the team has to buy into team defense and our top line forwards have to prove they are willing to make that commitment for more than a few games. 3rd, get Flash out of the center position, he's awful there.

Then maybe a solid defensive acquisition can start to pay dividends. Otherwise you're bringing in a defenseman into a situation that doesn't really emphasize strong defensive hockey. The only time Boudreau ever really gets on this team is when we lose a few games. What about all the games we win where our team defense is still below par? He sends the msg that however we play is fine as long as it results in a win. And then he gets upset when those same bad habits contribute to a loss.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 1, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

this crysby/OV thread is about as beat as a drum. i had enough of Crysby yesterday as NBC decided he was the only guy that played in the game yesterday and kept the camera on him nearly non-stop. i appreciate the guys talent, but there certainly was a lot of it on display yesterday. the sooner we move past this OV/Crysby as the sole focus of hockey for the masses, the BETTER!!! i am tired of it.

now make the moves that bring Lord Stanley's Cup home to DC, GMGM!!!!!!

Posted by: doughless | March 1, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

no xcuse for Crosby scoring so many goals that close to our net last yr. If you can't clear Sidney Crosby from the crease, that's not an indictment of one's "ability" as much as it is one's "willingness."

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 1, 2010 3:52 PM

I disagree. Crosby isn't as strong as Ovechkin, and I'm imagining that he can be pushed off the puck - if you follow him. His secret is his Gretzky-like ability to become invisible and sneak away from the defenseman. The other team always knows where Ovechkin is, but not Crosby. He's like the receiver in football who always gets open even though he has a big bullseye on his back.

Posted by: tominfl1 | March 1, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

cstanton1:

given your questions about Caps defensive systems, what move would you make?? 2-way power forward?

Posted by: doughless | March 1, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

I agree strongly on the coaching. Someone mentioned Bykov. Let me add the Swedish coach who arguably had the third or even second best team on paper. In a lethargic effort against the Slovaks in which the coach seemed unable to change tactics despite turnovers-cum-goals galore the team trails 3-4 with two minutes to go. He finally changes some lines and puts Forsberg with the Sedins -- a lethal line that creates crazy pressure in the offensive zone. For the final minute, does he put in, say, Backstrom, Alfredsson and Franzen? Maybe Lidstrom and Kronwall on D? Nope. For the final push, in comes defensive center Sammy Pahlsson, Mattias Weinhandl (who had the least TOI of all forwards that game) and Tallinder, possibly Sweden's worst defender for the game. Now that's coaching. To add insult to injury, the forwards with the second least TOI were Henrik Sedin (second in league scoring) and brother Daniel (1.36 ppg).

Posted by: arisplato | March 1, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

The only great thing about Ballard is he can solve our goalie "issue" by taking one of them out... lol...

Posted by: SoaringCaps | March 1, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

lol, but he's also one of the best open ice hitters in hockey. Something he never really did in college weirdly enough.
Ballard was the guy who knocked Semin out of our lineup earlier this yr when Semin let go a wrist shot and didn't see Ballard lining him up.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 1, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Why is everyone so obsessed with who is the better player between 8 and 87? They are both great. Completely different players. I know Caps fans think Crosby gets too much credit because he wins with great teams--but that is just the nature of sports. Although I think both players are outstanding, Ovie will always play second fiddle to Sid until he wins a championship. I mean was Dan Marino that much worse a player than Joe Montana?

Posted by: sid87 | March 1, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Lalime staring against the Pens on Tuesday, meaning Ryan Miller likely will get the nod against the Caps.

http://sabres.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=519466&navid=DL|BUF|home

Posted by: Jumpy66 | March 1, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

The Swiss were very well coached as well. But US, Canada, and Switzerland were the only ones. Actually, Slovakia was reasonably well coached too. Russia and Finland were definitely not. There's more to having a winning team than just the players and it showed in the tournament.

Posted by: Stu_c | March 1, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

I disagree. Crosby isn't as strong as Ovechkin, and I'm imagining that he can be pushed off the puck - if you follow him. His secret is his Gretzky-like ability to become invisible and sneak away from the defenseman. The other team always knows where Ovechkin is, but not Crosby. He's like the receiver in football who always gets open even though he has a big bullseye on his back.

Posted by: tominfl1 | March 1, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

go back and watch the goals he scored against us last year. Tell me if he "sneaked in" or did he just park his butt there on the side of our net while our defense basically ignored him. And after the first coupla goals you'd think our defense would keep their wits about themselves about where exactly he was at all times, I mean this is Sid Crosby we're talking about. Not a Max Talbot type who could sneak under radar.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 1, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

It was just announced that 28.5 million viewers watched the USA-Canada game yesterday afternoon. Highest rated hockey game in thirty years.

Posted by: Gambrills4 | March 1, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Would many of you quit slamming the Canadians! Yeah I know you hate Crosby...I think he is a pain too (is it because he is damned good and therefore a pain in our butt?), but 14 out of 23 players on the Caps roster are from Canada,as is the coach and the GM. So cut the crap. Team USA did great in the tournament, but don't give us all the indication that we are poor losers by slamming anyone who happens to be a Canadian. Enough!

Posted by: RogerNoVa | March 1, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1--- I agree with you, i have noticed or feel the same way. Team defense first and foremost, i can not see us winning 5-3, etc. games deep into the playoffs.

You are spot on!!!

Posted by: hunter32 | March 1, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

cstanton1:

given your questions about Caps defensive systems, what move would you make?? 2-way power forward?

Posted by: doughless | March 1, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

don't get me wrong, even though I don't think it'll make a significant impact given our current defensive philosophies, I still would like us to add a defenseman or two. I think the way its going to go is, we'll add a center with some size and we'll get a defenseman. I'm hoping for a BJackman type.

My wishlist if I kept it reasonable:

1) Cory Sarich who is every bit as good as Jackman is and a much more impactful hitter

2) Ethan Moreau or a center with some size.
I think Moreau is the kind of player that every team is looking to add despite his age. He's a solid tough grinding defensive winger who has been thru all the playoff wars and knows exactly what it takes to get there. He's a real fiery locker room guy too. I think the players would benefit from having him here.

3) Souray as a big splash (just because I'd love to see Sarich and Souray change the entire chemistry of our defensive corps with the style of hockey they bring to the ice)

And I'd dump Flash, Gordo and Poti and would be willing to dump Alzner but not Carlson

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 1, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Who was slamming Canadians?

Posted by: sgm3 | March 1, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

i don't give a crap how many Caps or coaches are Canadian, I wholeheartedly supported Team USA and am proud they won the silver (and beat Team Canada in the tournament). By the way, USA spanked Canada in World Juniors!!! DEAL WITH IT

Posted by: doughless | March 1, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1--- I agree with you, i have noticed or feel the same way. Team defense first and foremost, i can not see us winning 5-3, etc. games deep into the playoffs.

You are spot on!!!

Posted by: hunter32 | March 1, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

me neither, its much harder to come back from a 2 goal deficit in the 3rd pd of a playoff game than it is in the reg season. For one, you'll end up playing better defensive teams (w/better goalies) the deeper you go. And two, the refs won't give you 3 PPs in the 3rd pd to capitalize on. This team has gotten used to turning on that magic switch and swarming in the 3rd pd of games to make up for lackluster efforts in 1st or 2nd pds. You don't get that same margin of error in the playoffs.
Its just harder to score goals in the postseason and unfortunately I haven't heard the Caps really stress that. It seems like this team is built to try and outscore other teams. Until proven otherwise, they won't change.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 1, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Me too. I thought Team USA played well and really the great thing about hockey is the puck could have bounced the other way or the goalie could have made the incredible save. It was an exciting game and I am ready for more--in four years--in Sochi.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | March 1, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

The best part of the Olympics was Semin laying the lumber to Dan Boyle. I expect to see Semin emerge now as a physically dominating power forward, a la Brendan Shanahan.

Posted by: ccCapsfan

Watching OV freight train Jagr wasn't too bad either! ;-)

On the whole OV vs Crosby thing, I'd rather have OV simply because he wears his emotions on his sleeve. I see him as being more energetic and having more fun than Crosby (granted I don't watch Penguins games unless they are playing the Caps, but still). They are both gonna put up tons of goals/assists, but I think OV will get the fans involved more and will get more fans interested in the team more than Crosby will.

Posted by: aglatfelter | March 1, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

@aglafelter: You're right about the hit on Jagr - that was sweet. Your point about Ovi basically being more exciting is kind of the point Milbury made when he chose Ovi over Crosby in the famous discussion with Roenick. I think this is one of these discussions that may only make sense 10 years from now after we see which guy has staying power and what they ultimately accomplish. Still, 20 years later, who do you like better - Bird or Magic?

Posted by: ccCapsfan | March 1, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Ovechkin is more exciting to watch. Crosby is probably more responsible with the puck and I would agree that he has better defensive instincts. I also think the Penguins have done a great job in surrounding him with some real character players. When you look at the players the Penguins go looking for - Guerin, Kuniz, GRoberts, Mike Rupp, Matt Cooke. They all have similar characteristics. They play an honest game where work ethic/grit is paramount, skill is secondary.

Another reason I never thought Steve Ott to DC was ever a possibility :)

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 1, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

What's with the OV "cherry picker" knock? If I'm not mistaken, he has 4 empty net goals. 4! Out of 42 goals...4 are empty-netters! Please, OV haters...take that one off your list. And needless to say, empty-net goals are often just as important as regular goals. More times than not, the secure a victory.


Posted by: jplinse1 | March 1, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Anybody got any trade rumors, gossip, innuendo, anything?
Is this going to be one of those things where nothing happens until 2:55pm Wednesday?
Go Caps!

Posted by: kcbrichmond | March 1, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3UtmKLlSmjE

game 2

At the 20 second mark you can see Mike Green give way to Crosby and let him have premium crease position. Green looks like the forward and Crosby looks like the defenseman. Pathetic crease positioning in a critical game.

At the 2:36 mark, watch how the Pens defend their crease against our best crease-crashing line. First they box out Steckel perfectly and then Letang immediately clamps down on Laich not giving the Caps any add'l chances.

At the 3:16 mark, you can see how Mike Green shows no crease awareness and starts slapping sticks with Crosby while the puck is in our crease with the goalie down. Instead of knocking Crosby down or away, Green lets him have too much room in our crease. It starts with Green again letting Crosby establish optimum position in the crease.

At the 7:00 mark, Tom Poti looks absolutely clueless. Again trying to compete with Crosby at who can swat the puck better. There's too much standing around and not enough urgency with this group.

I think getting a crease clearer may have a trickle-down effect the same way bringing in Knuble has helped our forwards crash the offensive boards. But its still coaching. For whatever reason no matter how many times we get burned in the playoffs by letting forwards camp out in our crease, nothing ever gets done about it.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 1, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

I hate the championship argument... but I wouldn't be able to say anything if a Pens fan came up to me and said Sidney Crosby has a Cup and a gold medal. I was listening to the radio and someone made a good argument... it's like saying Eli Manning is a better QB than Dan Marino because he's won a Super Bowl but Marino never did. Never watched Marino play since that was like a while ago but I know he's the best quarterback ever to not win a super bowl. Winning is a huge part but I still don't think it's the most sufficient way to tell who's the better player. These days you're only going to be judged by how many championships you win. If Ovechkin wins it this year (fingers crossed) then I think some of this "Sidney is better than Crosby" will die down because this hockey tournament is a really bad way to judge the two players even though Crosby scored the winner.

Time to cool off on the debate. If we keep arguing it just keeps the Pens fans around even longer.

Posted by: rachel216 | March 1, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

@As a Caps fan and season ticket holder might I suggest to "our" Captain that before he make comments regarding who deserved to win the gold medal game, perhaps he should have watched the whole game. Also, might i dare suggest that he and his Russian team colleagues be thankful they didn't have to play Team USA. I predict the outcome would have been similar to the buttkicking that Team Canada put on Team Russia. Team Russia looked fairly pedestrian. I haven't seen anyone broach the topic yet, but I think the outcome for Team Ruusia should offer some insight to hockey fans as to the level of competion within the NHL and KHL, respectively.

Posted by: doughless | March 1, 2010 1:39 PM

I agree with him and I did watch 90% of ALL the games played. Canada deserved to win the Gold.

Team Russia looked good on paper and looked very very average on ice.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | March 1, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

@ccCapsFan: Can I pick Jordan? LOL. But that is a good point.
If I have to draft my team tomorrow, I'd go with OV before Crosby. In 20 years...I hope it will (and want it to) still be OV!

Posted by: aglatfelter | March 1, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Anyone know where I can watch Ted's video chat thing he did today?

Posted by: capscoach | March 1, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

the best way to defend guys like Crosby is have one guy shadow him all over the ice... Bengt Gustafsson used to do that against guys like Gretzky and Lemieux and shut them down.

Posted by: joek443 | March 1, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Grebeshkov from Edmonton to Nashville with a second-rounder in return. That opens the door for a Hamhuis deal. TheFourthPeriod reporting that Nashville is looking for a top-six forward.

So... Fehr or Flash for Hamhuis?

Posted by: KurtNYC | March 1, 2010 5:36 PM | Report abuse

I don't know anyone on the Caps who could do that, maybe Laich?

Teams don't really do that anymore, not the way they used to. Esa Tikkanen was one of the best "shadowers" to ever play the game. It takes a special sort of player to be able to make Crosby's life hell. First, he has to like that role. 2nd, he has to be able to play that role in the face of a lot of nastiness because Crosby won't take to that kind of shadowing and the Pens will be very quick to try and create some room for their star if they feel he's being harassed on the ice. Because you can't shadow someone without getting under their skin at some point. Bengt was one of those rare players who could I suppose. I don't remember anyone ever getting mad at him.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 1, 2010 5:39 PM | Report abuse

My guess is that Nashville already has the Hamuis deal lined up so it wouldn't suprise me to see that soon.

Now if it will be to the Caps is another question. It is interesting.

Posted by: sgm3 | March 1, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Flash before Fehr. Flash skates better but Fehr sticks his nose in there a bit better and you can't have enough wingers willing to do that in the playoffs.

I wonder if RJ Umberger is available. He'd be a nice player to have at center.

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 1, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

can't wait to see what happens come March 3rd.

Posted by: elicea | March 1, 2010 5:59 PM | Report abuse

I'm a Cap fan through and through. (Tickets to games since 1987... it's been a brutal 23 years.) I have three points (and not one of them is pleasant to write):

1) I don't hate Crosby. I hate fans of his like Steeltown who use Crosby's accomplishments as some sort of statement about their self-worth. As for Crosby, WHEN he plays, he is the best in the world now. Why? because his teams win. Individually, Ovechkin is better but hockey is a team sport and until Ovechkin wins something other than individual awards, we Cap fans have to deal with that fact.

2) The Caps, until they win something other than division titles and, perhaps, the Presidents Trophy this year, will be considered the Redskins plus -- win when it doesn't count, don't show up when it counts.

3) Until the Caps win something, it's all on Ovechkin's shoulders for their not winning. He's the Captain and face of the franchise. If the team wins, it's because of the team around him; if the team bombs in the playoffs, it's because of him. That's how being a leader and captain works. So, until this team wins, Ovechkin is just a great individual player.

Posted by: Matt23185 | March 1, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Interesting, But because the Team wins doesn't mean the player is better. As you said, until the Caps win.... Michael Jordan had the same trouble Ovi has had. Jordan lacked the compliments to win the Title, does that make him less of a player? After those holes were filled then Michael went on to win multiple titles. I believe Mcphee has done a great job in bringing in those complimentary players and I think when Ovi and the Caps do win the cup then it will be like a cresendo of multiple cups. Only time will tell but give me Ovi over that whining pacifier sucking Kid any day!!!!!

Posted by: rukind920 | March 1, 2010 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Flyers now have 2.625 million of cap space cleared. They apparently told Riley Cote they would only waive him if they had a potential deal in place to acquire a player.

Players on their apparent hit list include

Hamhuis
Raffi Torres

Posted by: cstanton1 | March 1, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Is this really the footage that Wilbon is wailing about? Ovechkin's "out of control", here??
Some nitwit is filming a guy who doesnt want to be filmed. He tries to cut inside and she decides to stay with him. He lashes out, so violently that the FLIPPING CAMERA DOESNT STOP RECORDING, inflicting such physical harm that the only sound she makes is to say "Please dont break my camera".
New low for Wilbon, who was recently committed to the notion that athletes own more of themselves than fans seem to think.

Posted by: redlineblue | March 1, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Jordan started winning championships after he had a better team around him but that wasn't the only reason.

he changed as well thanks to the coaching of phil jackson... he realized that he couldn't do it alone and started to trust his teammates. The young Jordan would never have made those famous passes to John Paxson or Steve Kerr for a wide-open three in the Finals. Also he became a much better defensive player.

Posted by: joek443 | March 1, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Sunday's epic -- won by Canada 3-2 in overtime -- was the most-watched hockey game since the gold-medal game in 1980, when the United States beat Finland after stunning the Soviet Union in the "Miracle on Ice." That gold-medal game drew 32.8 million.

According to NBC, the game drew an average viewership of 27.6 million and a rating of 15.2, a jump of 45.5 percent from the same matchup at the 2002 Salt Lake City Games. Both gold-medal games were aired mid-afternoon live.


see what happens once you take out all the goonery outta the game and stick to the beauty of the sport?

even Tony Kornheiser opened up his radio show today talking about the game for the first 20 minutes of the show... I've also heard that him and a couple others who aresn't really into hockey say that how great Mike Emrick is... don't think he's all that great but apparently those who don't watch hockey that much seem to think he's great

Posted by: joek443 | March 1, 2010 6:24 PM | Report abuse

There are rumors that Hamuis may be headed to Philly.

Posted by: sgm3 | March 1, 2010 6:45 PM | Report abuse

A little off topic, but in my discussions with Canadians I met at the Olympics, 75% thought Mike Green should have been there.

Posted by: capsfanpdx | March 1, 2010 6:51 PM | Report abuse

i usually can't stand ovie's arrogance, but the fact that he said "canada deserved to win" impresses me. the olympics were a humbling experience for him..hopefully

Posted by: anon1233 | March 2, 2010 1:45 AM | Report abuse

@ dougless

1. the US did not "spank" canada at the world juniors. that was a tight game, similar to the gold medal game on sunday.
2. wow so canada loses once after their 5 year undefeated run (in gold medals as well as games) at the WJC and everyone in the states is bragging. let me give you some stats buddy, in the wjc history, canada's won the most gold, 15 to be exact, with russia a close second at 12, and the USA with only two. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_IIHF_World_Under_20_Championship_medalists
so you DEAL WITH THAT!!

Posted by: anon1233 | March 2, 2010 2:21 AM | Report abuse

anon1233:

take your maple leaf, maple syrup and canadian attitude and shove it. US hockey fans could care less that you and your ilk think you own hockey. SHUT UP, D-BAG!!

Posted by: doughless | March 2, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Wow, what a bunch of cry babies - are you all 14 years old? It doesn't matter how well Team USA played. Are you kidding me? The only thing that matters in the end who WON the big game. It doesn't matter who outplayed who, who won before, who tried the hardest, who got more goals. Did USA win, what? No? Then suck it up, be men or women worthy of this country and give to the winners their due. It's pathetic, unsportsmanly and rather unseemly to go on and on.

Canada wont the Gold. If you can't suck it up and congratulate the winner then you're all unworthy of the great game of hockey.

Posted by: KPaige1 | March 2, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Ovechkin is no Michael Jordan. Please, let's not get carried away.

Ovechkin is a showboater. I guess that's what all the youngsters like but it reduces hockey as a sport. I remember hockey when it was good, not this dirty stuff Ovechkin throws around. He's pathetic.

That game with Canada was great. That's real hockey. Too bad we don't get to see that kind of hockey all the time. But fans wouldn't pay to see that. No they want a showboater like Ovechkin. Geez. So sad for the sport.

Posted by: KPaige1 | March 2, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

hey d-bag, I give credit where credit is due: Canada won gold. that is not the same as saying Canada DERSERVED gold. if that is the case, why hold the tournament at all?? USA won Junior Worlds gold and they worked their butts off for it. no one deserves to win anything. you go out and play hard to win. That is why Russia ate s**t in the Olympics.

you Canadians need to get over your infantile inferiority complex.

Posted by: doughless | March 2, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

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